If you’ve read Stop Workplace Drama you already know that one of the three components always present in any kind of drama is a lack of clarity. With that said, just because you are unclear does not necessarily mean you have drama, but I can guarantee where there is drama there is always a lack of clarity.
Here is a list of the top seven reasons for the lack of clarity.
1. The first question “What do I want?” has not been answered adequately.
2. You have not drilled down to the “why.”
3. Focusing on “how” without having a clear “what and why” in place.
4. Competing values or desires.
5. Inability to prioritize.
6. Misalignment: What you say you want and what you are doing are out of sync.
7. Resistance to taking action or resistance to telling the truth about the situation.
The content may change for each individual or business, but the structures remain the same. For example when I decided to leave my job after 21 years of service, I had a lot of struggles because of my lack of clarity. I knew what I wanted, but because of my life experience and limited business knowledge I didn’t believe what I wanted was possible. I had competing desires: safety and the need for adventure. Since I had limited knowledge I didn’t know what to do first because I continued to try to figure it out.
The same structures are in place on a corporate level when the lack of clarity shows up in a company. For example a manager who fails to have a difficult conversation with an ineffective employee, is an example of competing desires: the desire to avoid discomfort competing with the need to offer course correction as well as resistance to taking action. Written policies that are not enforced is an example of resistance to taking action and leaders who do not walk the talk is an example of misalignment.
On an individual level and on a corporate level, lack of clarity can lead to drama. The first question comes in the form of answering “What do I want?” The second question is why do I want it? Until you answer those questions there’s no reason to try to figure out the how.
Marlene Chism is a consultant, national speaker and author of Stop Workplace Drama (Wiley 2011). Marlene’s passion is developing wise leaders and helping people to discover, develop and deliver their gifts to the world. If you need executive coaching to help you navigate through change call Marlene at 1.888.434.9085